Getting my kid to eat — The Bump
Pre-School and Daycare

Getting my kid to eat

I want to bang my head against the wall. My once adventurous eater refuses to eat anything except highly processed food. She used to eat everything, but for the past year she has slowly started weeding nutritious foods out of her diet. Now she won't eat any chicken unless it's a chicken nugget with a dipping sauce, she won't eat any type of meat, and don't even get me started on vegetables. Every night is a struggle. The plate goes in front of her and she starts to whine and cry, even it it's a new recipe. I am not going to get her in the habit of getting her own meal -- I believe she needs to eat what the rest of the family eats. I talked to our ped about it back in February and keep hearing that it's just something she'll grow out of, but it seems to be getting worse. I'm starting to worry that she's not getting the nutrition she needs. Have any of you been through this and do you have any suggestions for me? Thanks!
DH & I: 29
TTC #1 4/2009 -  DD 2/5/10
TTC #2 since October 2011
2IF issues
7/2013 - IUI #1: 50 units Follistim +  Ovidrel  = BFN
8/2013 - IUI #2: 50 units Follistim +  Ovidrel  = BFP! Beta #1 (12 dpiui) 8/21: 45  Beta #2 (16 dpiui) 8/26: 301 Beta #3 (21 dpiui) 8/30: 1,929. 1st Ultrasound 9/4 - One perfect sac. 2nd Ultrasound 9/13 - Heartbeat at 124 bpm! Anniversary  

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Re: Getting my kid to eat

  • i am going through this with my 2.5y. child used to eat so much (we made our own baby food, never had jarred food). child eats plain crackers, waffles, eggs, organic store bought smoothies (refuses to drink ones i make), freeze dried fruit, bananas, pasta with tomato sauce, and we are lucky if anything else. just starting to finally take a vitamin. doctor is not concerned since he drinks so much milk and water. we continue to offer everything, and we sneak veggies in to pasta. so yes, hopefully others weigh in, positively with new ideas, because i am out of them!

     
     
     

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  • I went to a nutrition seminar and the information has really stuck with me. The nutritionist said that as parents, we are in charge of what is served and when. The child is in charge of how much or whether to eat. She said to put a healthy meal of non-processed food in front of your child. Let the child decide how much of it (if any) to eat. That's the only choice, and the kitchen is closed until snack time. That approach takes it out of the battle zone.
    Alikijcrising
  • ClaryPax said:
     We just bribe out kid like eat 5 bites of meat and then you can have a strawberry.  I know its not the best method, but oh well. 
    I used this method at times as well, especially as they got older and were starting to become more flexible and more willing to work with me.  When they were 3 or 4, and things were at their worst, I tried hard (not always successfully) to avoid any kind of pressure or bargaining at the table.

    OP, what's nice about only putting a few bites of food on the kid's plate at a time is that it allows them (and you) to experience success at meals.  If you're only requiring her to eat a few tablespoons of food, and she does, then the meal ends with you praising her instead of scolding or threatening.  If she doesn't eat the 5 bites, just remind her that there will be no more food until snack, and that people who don't even eat 5 bites of dinner have to have milk and fruit for snack, not cookies.  Let her choose whether or not to eat, and don't pressure her -- but don't give the cookies either!

    We only had to do this extreme "5 bites per meal" thing for a few weeks before the dynamic shifted and my kids were willing to eat slightly more normal food, but I always erred on the side of giving my kids smaller portions at meals and letting them take seconds.
    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • @neverblushed, thanks so much for your great suggestions. I never considered how overwhelming piling her plate up must be. We've already tried some of the strategies and have seen improvement. I'm definitely going to get her involved in the cooking process. We've done it with her a couple of times but I'd like to have her help me as much as possible. I think ownership in the meal can only help! Thanks again! Glad to hear this won't last forever.
    DH & I: 29
    TTC #1 4/2009 -  DD 2/5/10
    TTC #2 since October 2011
    2IF issues
    7/2013 - IUI #1: 50 units Follistim +  Ovidrel  = BFN
    8/2013 - IUI #2: 50 units Follistim +  Ovidrel  = BFP! Beta #1 (12 dpiui) 8/21: 45  Beta #2 (16 dpiui) 8/26: 301 Beta #3 (21 dpiui) 8/30: 1,929. 1st Ultrasound 9/4 - One perfect sac. 2nd Ultrasound 9/13 - Heartbeat at 124 bpm! Anniversary  

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    neverblushed
  • Such amazing advice already given, I really appreciate reading it myself! :) My son is super picky about meat and vegetables so I just put a small amount of it on his plate plus some familiar favorites (fruits and grains he enjoys) and let him decide when/what to eat and how much. I figure it's my job to provide the healthy food at every meal and it's really up to him to get adventurous and sample it.

    My daughter became much more open to eating whatever was placed in front of her about age 6yrs so I'm hopeful. :)

    eclaire 9.10.06  diggy 6.2.11

  • rodiesmumrodiesmum member
    edited July 2014
    We are asians so rice is a staple part of our diet. Thank god DD likes it as it is her energy source apart from milk. I agree they are very picky when it comes to food. My daughter would eat only the following: frim scratch chicken soup over rice, pork stew over rice, scrambled egg with rice, sauteed tuna with rice and fried fish with rice. Never had luck woth pasta except for chicken macaroni soup. Now im trying on more homemade vegetable soups to ladle over rice to get more variety and nutrition into her diet. I also ask her to 'help' me cook and surprisingly she gets more encouraged to eat what she 'cooked'.
    Of course we still have fastfood struggles -- she likes french fries and ocassional hotdogs and orange juice. I try to limit it an im trying really hard.
    A saving grace is her love for fruits - bananas, mangoes, grapes, lychees, strawberries and sweetcorn - if corn is a fruit lol. She brings at least two kinds of fruit to school everyday. Also she likes softboiled egg and toast.

    i love you, my little mooncake mahal kita
     
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    MJC1116
  • DS was always the pickier of my two kids but, now at six, he's starting to be more willing to try. DD was my better eater but, now at three, she rejecting so many foods she once ate.

    Tips:
    - My ped says to look at what is being eaten over the course of a week, not one meal or even one day.
    - Make sure to serve a healthy and filling breakfast. This is a great time to get in fruits, dairy, protein, oatmeal, etc. Also, homemade smoothies are a great way to get in healthy calories.
    - Try to keep snacks small and nutritious...cut up fruit and veggies, string cheese, yogurt, etc. Don't make the snacks more "appealing" than meals.
    - Use a three section plate at dinner time. Fill each section with a small portion and encourage them to try at least two before you refill any section. (IE: pasta, veggies, meat...can't have a second serving of pasta until you at least try the veggies or meat).
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    MJC1116neverblushed
  • I went to a nutrition seminar and the information has really stuck with me. The nutritionist said that as parents, we are in charge of what is served and when. The child is in charge of how much or whether to eat. She said to put a healthy meal of non-processed food in front of your child. Let the child decide how much of it (if any) to eat. That's the only choice, and the kitchen is closed until snack time. That approach takes it out of the battle zone.

    I second this, though I have to say it is much easier said than done. My 2.5 yo absolutely will not try new food and if something is remotely not to her liking she just sticks out her tongue and lets it fall on the floor. Lovely. But I don't make special meals for her (unless we're eating something hard like steak or chops). And we in general don't have store bought meals in the house. I also stopped giving her snacks and now she at least eats her meals better. At school I told them to serve her fruit from lunch at snack time, and even though they tell me she so badly wants other kida graham crackera etc it's a NO.
    She still frustrates me daily so we give her a multivitamin.

    As long as she sleeps at night and doesn't wake saying she 'needs food in her tummy' (only happened once) I'm fine with her refusing to eat. Her choice if she wants to go hungry...
  • Such Great Tips!!! Thanks.  I'm at the, "well if you don't eat what i fix, than you don't eat", stage with my almost 4 year old. 

     

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